Years ago, when I first came to Germany, I was a young woman who was guilty of casting unjust aspersions and making hasty assumptions about the German culture.
Such ignorance of another country's culture and arrogance that "OUR" culture is the only "RIGHT" culture is one of the reasons we have disagreements and war in our world today.
The key to disarming ignorance, I believe, is
We had the great privilege recently to go to a "goodbye" dinner with our friends Aimee and Jason who are headed back to the United States. We were invited by their wonderful German lordlord and landlady to cake and coffee and then on to dinner at the Bad Hotel in the Black Forest.
Jason, Aimee and Peter
Aimee and Jason have rented Peter and Uli's house for 5 years.
A wonderful intercultural friendship has grown from this experience.
Uli serving the homemade strawberry cake.
One of the customs that Americans find so strange here in Germany is being invited to cake and coffee between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. What's strange about that? It's having your dessert first because by 5 or 6 pm, you are going to have your dinner. Uli made a lovely cake and we enjoyed it very much.
Peter and Uli wanted to take us to one of their favorite places in the Black Forest.
Bad Teinach which boasts the
75385 Bad Teinach
Now, I know you are questioning this saying, "Mimi, you went to a BAD hotel to eat?"
When you are in Germany, Bad doesn't mean bad. Just like Gift in German doesn't mean our definition of gift. To a German, "gift" is poison. Probably not a good idea to offer your friends in Germany a "gift" as you are learning German. Stick to the word "present". I say this with a giggle because I did just that. Luckily my friend knew enough English to laugh at my mistake and gently correct me.
Bad in German comes from the definition of "Spa" so where you see the word "Bad" substitute the word "Spa".
Instead of a BAD Hotel we were going to a very posh SPA Hotel.
Being a SPA hotel, they had beautiful walking paths through the grounds.
Look at this lovely area to stop off from your walk and stimulate your mind with a giant game of chess.
This area is a very healthy thing to do. After you have had a very long walk and your feet are tired and perhaps hurting a bit, this is just the ticket.
Sit on the bench and take off your shoes and wade around in an ice cold pool.
It works well for keeping sore feet at bay.
I must say that the "heated" outdoor swimming pool in the spa area of the hotel certainly caught my interest as we walked about the grounds.
After our lovely walk we went into the hotel for our dinner.
This starter was served to each of us with bread. The white dollop is a homemade cheese. The other was a spread made from asparagus and carrot. We all agreed it was YUM.
Mac had "geschnetzeltes" with hash browns. Geschnetzeltes is a very tender cut of either pork, veal, chicken or beef. It is cut in very thin strips and cooked quickly over a high heat.
I had the "mullet" which is a wonderful fish. This was divine.
Aimee had cranberries over a pear, spätzle and venison.
She said it was wonderful.
Jason had boiled potatos, white asparagus with schnitzel.
My dessert was passionfruit sorbet with fresh pineapple. A very light custard sauce graced this yummy dessert. Pay close attention Darbys in Belfast, Maine. I'd love to see this on your summer dessert menu!
We want to thank Peter, Uli, Amy and Jason for introducing us to Bad Teinach's
If we hadn't accepted this invitation we wouldn't have had the pleasure of discovering such a lovely place with such charming new friends.
Mac, Mimi, Aimee and Jason at the Bad Hotel.
13 years ago Aimee and Jason accepted an invitation to our home for dinner.
We've been friends ever since.
It's bittersweet for us here now because Aimee and Jason are headed back to America after 14 years in Germany.
Always accept an invitation. You never know what friendships await (German or American) unless you do!
How do we end this blog? We'll simply say, "We love you Aimee and Jason. We value your friendship, kindness and generosity. You are exceptional people and you will be greatly missed. We wish you safe journeys, new adventures and all the happiness life can hold."
Instead of Mac's normal thumbs up, we leave our dear friends with this
Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back,
The sunshine warm upon your face.
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.